The Blindness of Surveillance

This is an interesting article by Glenn Greenwald that looks at the effectiveness of the many surveillance measures employed by the government for anti-terrorism purposes. This is particularly relevant with the recent events on Christmas Day. It has been repeatedly stated by President Obama and others that a lack of information was not the problem. Rather, a lack of “connecting the dots” led to these lapses in security.

Greenwald points out that there is simply so much data to fish through and so much gathered through broad and indiscriminate collecting that there is too much information to handle. Even with suspicious connections, communications and other warning gathered, no one was able to clearly see the whole picture. In an age of unprecedented surveillance perhaps we are learning to rely too readily on overwhelming technological efforts than on our own senses.

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